| 15 July 2024, Monday |

Stampede at Madagascar’s national stadium kills 12, injures around 80, prime minister says

The prime minister announced on Friday that 12 people were murdered and about 80 people were injured when sports fans stampeded to get into Madagascar’s national stadium for the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games.

Videos posted on social media demonstrated Red Cross volunteers tending to dozens of injured individuals close to the athletics track.

Prime Minister Christian Ntsay said 11 of the injured were in a critical condition.

It was not immediately clear what caused the stampede, but at least 15 people were killed in a similar incident at the Mahamasina stadium in 2019.

“An unfortunate event happened. There was a stampede at the entrance. There were a lot of injuries. We will observe a few seconds of silence because compatriots have died when they wanted to enter,” President Andry Rajoelina told the crowd in the stadium.

After the silence, the ceremony continued with a laser show and fireworks.

The Indian Ocean Island Games were created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1977, and include athletes from Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Reunion and the Maldives.

  • Reuters